The Weeknd and Bella Hadid were once one of pop culture's most interesting celebrity couples, and not just because they always kept us guessing with their on-again, off-again dynamic.
Just like The Weeknd's top songs—many which have reportedly been inspired by his relationship with the supermodel—their much-publicized romance has been a seductive, dramatic and, at times, melancholic affair since the twosome first got together back in 2015. There have been happy reunions, sad break-ups and some popular-with-the-paparazzi couplings with other pop stars in between.
But are The Weeknd and Bella Hadid done for good? Let's look back at the couple's complete relationship timeline.
When did The Weeknd and Bella Hadid date?
The Weeknd—whose real name is Abel Tesfaye—and Bella Hadid began dating in April 2015 before amicably splitting in November 2016. The on-again, off-again relationship between the 32-year-old Canadian crooner and the 26-year-old model continued when they rekindled their romance in April 2018, before calling it quits yet again in August 2019.
The Weeknd and Bella Hadid's relationship timeline:
April 2015: The Weeknd and Bella Hadid get together
The pair first caught eyes for one another at Coachella in 2015. "They were hanging out in Coachella and were flirting lots," a source told E! (opens in new tab) at the time. "They have many things in common and really enjoyed each other's company. She loves his music as well. They are hanging out for sure now." The source also mentioned that while the two had met previously, the music festival was "where they really clicked."
A few years later, The Weeknd revealed in a 2015 Rolling Stone (opens in new tab) interview that he and Hadid originally connected when he reached out to the model asking her to feature on the artwork of his album, Beauty Behind the Madness. "My motive was literally to work with her," he admitted. But when she declined, he said: “I was like, ‘All right, cool—we can meet up face-to-face.'"
Throughout 2015, the couple were going strong with plenty of public outings together, including New York Fashion Week in September, where they were photographed at the Alexander Wang show. They were also spotted out and about with Bella's family, including her sister Gigi and her mum Yolanda Hadid, who shared a picture of herself with the couple on Bella's 19th birthday. Abel seemed to have gotten the seal of approval from Bella's nearest and dearest.
In the aforementioned Rolling Stone interview, he explained that his then-girlfriend's strong work ethic and tight-knit family are what attracted him to her. Referring to their relationship, he said: “It just kind of fell into my lap."
He continued: “If this had happened two years ago—well, she couldn’t.” (Yep, Bella would have only been 16.) “But if I’d met someone two years ago, I probably would’ve f**ked it up. But I’m more—how do I say it?—clear-thinking now.”
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December 2015: the first break-up
Later that year, Bella Hadid starred in The Weeknd's music video for '"In The Night" but in December 2015, E! (opens in new tab) revealed that the couple were taking a break due to their hectic work schedules. "Their schedules got very busy, and it really cut into their relationship," the outlet reported. "They are still in each other's lives though, just not in the same exclusive capacity."
February 2016: they're on again
The break didn't last long, as the couple made their red carpet debut together at the Grammys in February 2016, appearing stronger than ever. Hadid even shared an Instagram post, gushing with pride over her boyfriend. "This is YOUR day baby! I'm so proud of you ❤️ I feel so lucky to be by your side 👑," she captioned a picture of them together. The singer took home two Grammy awards that night.
Speaking to Glamour (opens in new tab) a few months later, the model opened up about the night, telling the magazine: "It was a big night for him. He has worked so hard, and he did so well that night. As a girlfriend, I wanted to be there to support him. Seeing him so happy when he won a Grammy made me so happy."
When asked whether she is with Abel or his stage persona The Weeknd, she responded: "I’m dating Abel. I don’t see him as The Weeknd. I’m proud of The Weeknd and the music he makes, but I really love Abel."
The couple continued their string of public engagements throughout 2016, attending everything from Daily Front Row’s Fashion Los Angeles Awards to Lakers games together, looking more loved-up than ever. They had another major red carpet moment together that year at the annual Met Gala, both wearing Givenchy. In October 2016, they shared a romantic getaway to Tokyo, sharing pictures of their trip on Instagram. The Weeknd also helped Bella ring in her 20th birthday, with the pair posing together at her party.
November 2016: they're off again
However a month later, in November 2016, it was reported that the couple had split up, once again due to conflicting work schedules. “Their schedules have been too hard to coordinate and he is focusing on finishing and promoting his album,” a source told People. (opens in new tab) “They still have a great deal of love for one another and will remain friends.”
That same month, The Weeknd's album Starboy was released and the two had an awkward reunion at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show on December 5, with The Weeknd performing whilst Hadid modeled on the runway. However, when asked about the situation prior to the night, Bella denied any tension between the two, telling E!: "This is his second year performing, and I think he's going to kill it. There is no awkwardness. He is my best friend, and I am excited because I am walking during his performance."
She even shared a picture of the two on stage on social media following the performance, writing in the caption: "Thank you @theweeknd for being the best and most incredible performer on the planet. You KILLED it, as always😍❤️."
January 2017: The Weeknd and Selena Gomez get together
Following Bella and The Weeknd's amicable split, fans were hoping the couple would soon reunite. However, their dreams were shattered when Abel spotted kissing Selena Gomez in Santa Monica in January 2017. Bella then immediately unfollowed Selena on Instagram and days later posted a picture of herself flipping off the camera (opens in new tab), which fans assumed was her response to her ex's new relationship.
A source later told People (opens in new tab) that while “Bella and Abel’s split wasn’t dramatic," the model was "hurt and pissed that he’s moved on so quickly with Selena".
In an interview with Teen Vogue (opens in new tab) in February, Bella said of The Weeknd: "I'll always respect him, and I'll always love him. Sometimes you want to be sad about it or handle it differently, but at the end of the day, you never want to burn a bridge that you've fought so hard to build."
In March 2017, both The Weeknd and Selena had unfollowed Bella on Instagram; the model would retaliate by unfollowing her ex by early April.
October 2017: The Weeknd and Selena Gomez break up
Fast forward to October and People (opens in new tab) break the news that The Weeknd and Gomez have split after ten months of dating. “She and Abel have been going back and forth for a few months about their relationship,” a source told the outlet. “It’s been hard with him being on tour and her shooting in New York. That wasn’t easy on them.”
At the time, Selena Gomez was also linked to ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber, who she eventually rekindled with before the two broke up again and he married his now-wife, Hailey Bieber. (Is your head spinning too?)
Meanwhile, two weeks after his break-up with Selena, The Weeknd was seen leaving Bella's New York City apartment. At the time, an insider told Us Weekly (opens in new tab): “Bella really missed him. She’s happy with where things are and he is too. They are still totally in love.”
April 2018: The Weeknd and Bella are on again
In April 2018, it was reported that the couple were officially back together with E! (opens in new tab) running a story about their "steamy" PDA at Coachella. "Bella never really lost feeling for Abel and had hope they would eventually get back together," a source explained. However, Bella denied the insider's account, responding to a Instagram post with: "It wasn't me." But a month later, photos emerged of the two kissing at Cannes Film Festival, confirming their reconciliation.
Happy together once again, the couple were back to sharing loved-up photos throughout the summer of 2018. The two also celebrated Bella's 22nd birthday together, with the model taking to Instagram to thank her "baby" and sharing adorable pictures of them from her party.
Later that month, they attended Heidi Klum's annual Halloween party together, dressed in matching costumes as Lydia and Beetlejuice.
In November, the couple were once again at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show together, only this time, The Weeknd was sat front row cheering on his girlfriend alongside her mother, Yolanda Hadid.
The couple were going from strength to strength, with reports of the two moving in together emerging shortly after. US Weekly (opens in new tab) also hinted that a "proposal was on the horizon" as the pair were "madly in love," according to a source.
August 2019: they break up for good?
After celebrating The Weeknd's 29th birthday together in February 2019, the couple went quiet on social media for a few months. It was then reported in August that the pair had split again. A source told E! (opens in new tab): "They are in different places right now, physically and mentally. Bella is prepping for her fashion week commitments and Abel is working on his music and his upcoming acting debut."
However, rumors were rife once again when The Weeknd made an appearance at Bella's 23rd birthday two months later in October. A source told E! (opens in new tab): "Abel met up with Bella last night for her third birthday celebration at L'Avenue. He was with her the entire night and they left together to go back to the apartment they both shared. You could tell that they were definitely in love and they both looked very happy being around each other."
However, The Weeknd's rep confirmed to People (opens in new tab) shortly after that he had "just attended as friends.”
June 2020: Romance rumors are stirring
Nine months after the couple's split, in June 2020, Us Weekly (opens in new tab) reported that Bella and The Weekend "have been in touch recently" and that “there’s always a possibility that they will get back together down the line.” In the immortal words of Oprah, so what is the truth?
July 2021: Bella goes Insta official with Marc Kalman
Despite those romance rumors, Bella surprised everyone when she posted a picture on her Instagram kissing a mystery man, who turned out to be her new boyfriend Marc Kalman. The two seem pretty cozy so was this officially the end of the Bella and The Weeknd saga?
September 2021: The Weeknd and Angelina Jolie are dating?!
In a truly WTF update to this seemingly never-ending saga, Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie and The Weeknd were spotted going on several dinner dates in Los Angeles together.
“He’s been pouring on the charm and going out of his way to impress her,” a source told Us Weekly (opens in new tab)in September. “Both Angie and Abel are telling people that they are just friends, but those who know them think something romantic is going on.”
Eagle-eyed fans believed that lyrics from The Weekend's song "Here We Go…Again" off his fifth album, Dawn FM, seemingly reference his rumored relationship with the A-list actress: "And my new girl, she a movie star / My new girl, she a movie star / I loved her right, make her scream like Neve Campbell / But when I make her laugh, swear it cures my depressin' thoughts / 'Cause baby girl, she a movie star / Baby girl, she a movie star / I told myself that I'd never fall / But here we go again."
2022: The Weeknd and Simi Khadra step out
Those Abel/Angie rumors cooled down in early 2022 and since then, The Weeknd has been seen spending time with Simi Khadra, one half of the sister-DJ duo Simi & Haze.
Khadra is not only reportedly a close friend of Abel's ex-girlfriend Bella Hadid but also Selena Gomez, with the latter featuring the DJ on her Instagram. And around and around this relationship drama goes!
Christina Izzo is the Deputy Editor of My Imperfect Life.
More generally, she is a writer-editor covering food and drink, travel, lifestyle and culture in New York City. She was previously the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York.
When she’s not doing all that, she can probably be found eating cheese somewhere.
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